Welcome to the second additon of our hands-on devotions for kids! Today we are learning Bible verses about the power of words and how what we say affects other people.
We are going to use one of my favorite science experiments to illustrate the effects of harsh words and then go over some verses to hopefully remind us how to talk to those around us.
Why Is Our Speech Important
Have you ever worked hard on a project only for a classmate or sibling to tell you that you did a terrible job?
On the flip side, how does it make you feel when you work hard at your chores and your mom tells you what a great job you did?
The words people speak to us affects how we feel, right? Let’s do an experiment to help us remember how harsh words affect others.
Power of Words Experiment
For our experiment in this youth devotional lesson, you will need a raw egg and distilled vinegar.
First pour a little vinegar into a cup and taste it. Nasty stuff, isn’t it? Harsh too, as you will find out.
Put the egg into a large glass or canning jar. Pour enough vinegar into the glass to completely cover the egg. Set the egg in a safe place.
Check the egg daily. This experiment takes 2 to 3 days.
What did you discover?
Bible Verses about the Power of Words
If your unkind words are like vinegar, what do you think they are doing to the people you are speaking to?
They are eating at them. Causing them to feel hurt or angry.
Harsh words can cause fights, divide family and friends, and ruin relationships.
Our speech is important for two reasons.
- It affects others
- It reveals what is in our hearts
What Does the Bible Say About Harsh Words
Let’s look at what the Bible says about harsh words.
A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Have you ever gotten into a fight and you say something mean and your friend or sibling says something mean back? How does it make you feel? I bet you retaliate and say more mean words, don’t you?
King Solomon was very wise and tells us that a kind answer will keep the other person from being angry. Often times that ends the fight right there.
BUT a harsh words makes a person even more angry.
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health. (Proverbs 12:18)
Some words hurt us and make us feel angry and bitter while others make us feel happy and confident and encouraged.
Which of these words do you want to speak?
It’s no wonder, David writes
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3)
There are many Bible verses about the power of words and I think it is because we are so affected by them.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19)
I like how James includes “swift to hear”. So often we allow our words to spill out before we listen to what others are saying. Sometimes this is listening to the instruction of our parents and sometimes this is listening to a friend when your actions have frustrated them.
Bible Verses About Our Tongue Being Powerful
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
There are many Bible verses about our tongue being powerful and I’ve included some for you to study on your own at the end of this devotional. I wanted to include this one from Proverbs to help you see the power of pleasant words. Solomon says they are like honeycomb and bring us good health.
Good words affect others just as much as hurtful words. Wouldn’t you rather be bringing someone good health than stirring up anger?
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-37 NIV)
Remember, I said that our words reveal what is in our hearts. If we are angry or allow anger to fester in our hearts, our words will be unkind and reflect that anger. If we have unforgiveness in our hearts, our words will sound unhappy.
Jesus also says that we will have to give an answer for our words. If you have used harsh words and hurt someone, it is important that you apologize and repent. Jesus promises to forgive us and while you can’t take back harsh words, an apology can sometimes soothe hurt feelings.
Further Study on Bible Verses About the Power of Words
Let’s continue this study on Bible verses about the power of words! Try one or more of these activities throughout the week.
- Journal about a time someone used hurtful words and how they made you feel.
- Go out into nature and take photos to represent harsh vs. kind words. For example: a cloudy sky or hornet might symbolize harsh words while a flower or robin could symbolize positive words.
- Observe the people around you and listen carefully to their words. How do their words affect others? How do their words affect you?
- Study these Bible verses about controlling your tongue. Proverbs 18:21, James 3:1-12, Ephesians 4:25, and Proverbs 25:18.
Check out these related posts!
For more ideas on teaching the power of words, check out “The Power of Words” by Or So She Says!